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IMG_2708Do you know what a “Quongo” is? I didn’t have a clue until I came across one whilst judging this years Free From Food Awards. It is a quiche to eat on the go. But to be honest, you are better placed to sit and savour this one rather than gobble it mindlessly, whilst trawling through emails at your desk.

Now this site is all about championing the small, local and independent producers and businesses that tirelessly strive to make gluten free food better. And for me, Oast to Host, the producers of said Quongo are a real life testament to the quality and passion that lies out there, often undiscovered.

I live in South East London and spend a large parcel of my leisure time roaming the Kent countryside detoxing my lungs and showing my boys what a tree is. I am ALWAYS trawling farm shops and delis on the look out for local, seasonal produce that is gluten free and worth bringing home. However I have never seen the products from this female duo until the Free From Food Awards. So thank goodness for these awards and the platform they provide to the small companies without the huge marketing budgets (and questionable ingredients).. It is exactly why I am a judge.

Sally and Claire, the founders of Oast to Host, combine over 40 years of cooking experience and life with a coeliac daughter to bring some of the best sweet and savoury baked goods from their dedicated wheat and gluten free kitchen. With Claire as an ex-commercial baker, they have managed to create a range of not only delicious bakes, but ensure the best quality ingredients by using whole foods, free range eggs, no palm oil and certainly no additives. Much from the ‘Garden of England’.

I sampled the award winning Leek and Onion Quongo with its rich, incredibly thin crisp pastry that had totally held up over delivery to London in its unique packaging. Then the treats were an intense walnut tart, again with fabulous pastry, rich with nuts and syrup. Tea on the Go, was a mini selection of their sweet range featuring a Cherry Frangipane Tart, Raspberry Bakewell, Brownie, Millionaire Mistress and Biscotti which were all fantastic. Literally not one product was sub-standard. Not sickly sweet, classic treats baked with real skill. I particularly enjoyed the biscotti, never having had a GF one that didn’t crumble on first bite.

Currently these fantastic products are only available in small number of independent shops, but I do hope that this award for the quiche, and their continued dedication to product excellence will mean their products spread far and wide soon. In the mean time I’m off to Kent to bag me a stash, as they freeze well too.